Brusdar Graterol is an Overrated Flamethrower and Kenta Maeda Sets The Twins Up Perfectly

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn

I think the Twins made a bad trade — but, because their intent is to take advantage of their window to get back to the World Series for the first time since 1991, I’m ultimately OK with it. There are times that GMs can’t be concerned about “winning a trade” long-term, and instead need to focus on winning a championship. The Twins traded their best pitching prospect, Graterol, for a veteran starter in Maeda. They traded a high-upside arm for a sure thing, realizing their World Series window is definitely the next few years.

Jim Bowden – The Athletic

Last night, the Minnesota Twins were part of a blockbuster trade that sent Mookie Betts and David Price to the Los Angeles Dodgers. As part of the deal, The Twins sent RP prospect Brusdar Graterol to Boston, in exchange for RH SP, Kenta Maeda, of the Dodgers.

Reaction around the internet is mixed regarding the Twins role in this deal. It’s pretty clear the Dodgers got to have their cake and eat it too. They were the winners in this 3-team swap.

But the Twins aren’t out here getting run over by a couple big market teams. In reality, I think this deal is going to end up looking REALLY bad for the Red Sox, when it’s all said and done.

Because Brusdar Graterol is…. kind of overrated.

Alright, so this is pretty much every single Brusdar Graterol out or strike in his MLB career. I’m grabbing this because I don’t have enough time to go cut up something that includes bad pitches.

I’m not saying that to be an asshole. I’m just busy and can prove my point with this video. Graterol throws hard. We get that. But, I always caught myself wondering why he was having so many issues getting MLB hitters to swing and miss, especially in an age where hitters whiff more than any other time in history.

You can see a glimpse of why in this video, though. His control is terrible… I like the slider that comes into the zone backdoor vs Ronny Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers at the 00:29 mark.

Just an absolute hanger that Rodriguez somehow misses… but I guess that’s why he wears the #60.

How about the first two pitches in that highlight? Both miss spots and should be lit up. At this point of Brusdar Graterol’s career, all he is doing is gripping the ball and throwing it as fast as possible.

Throw on his additional injury issues (he threw 102 innings once, in 2018), and I just don’t think Falvine is confident Graterol will end up being a great player in the MLB.

At best, I personally see him as a journey setup man who is throwing about 95-97 once he settles down and realizes he still has to hit spots, to get major league hitters out.

Kenta Maeda is Everything Brusdar Graterol Isn’t

Ok, I’ve had enough of this Kenta Maeda slander. Dan Cole “The Common Man”, of KFAN has been comparing him to Kyle Gibson all day… are you kidding me? Kyle-fucking-Gibson….?

I checked, just to be sure I wasn’t goin crazy. I was right, like usual. Kyle Gibson had two seasons where he could hold Kenta Maeda’s jock strap. He posted a sub-3.75 ERA in 2015 and 2018. I don’t know where those seasons came from, but he was nothing near that for the rest of his career, where he sits much closer to 5.00.

Meanwhile, Maeda averages the same ERA for his career, that Gibson posted in his best seasons. Seriously, Kenta Maeda’s career ERA is 3.87 and he strikes out nearly 9.8 batters for every 9 innings. That’s better than Graterol’s 9.2 (including the minors) and shits all over Gibson’s 7.0 career K/9.

Seriously, the more you look into Kenta Maeda, the more excited you get. Maeda is only 31, which might as well be pre-pubescent in pitcher years. He slots in so perfectly as your #3 pitcher that he makes Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi look better, for some reason.

Kenta Maeda also has an amazingly cheap contract that stretches all the way through 2023. That means more flexibility for the still inevitable blockbuster trade that will come before we reach the deadline, during the season.

The Twins look to be jumping all in… finally. But, they aren’t there yet. They still need a bona fide #1 starter that I’m almost convinced they will move on before that deadline. You don’t start trading pieces like Brusdar Graterol if you aren’t pushing all of your chips into the middle of the table.

If you slide Trevor Bauer or Mike Clevinger into that #1 sport and slide Maeda down to the #4 guy…….. now that is a playoff rotation.


Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan